Applied Ecology

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
2018/2019
Year: 
3
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
2020/2021
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Language: 
Italian
Credits: 
6
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
64
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours), Exercise (32 hours)
Requirements: 

Knowledge of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and General Ecology is recommended

Final Examination: 
Orale

Learning is verified by a final written test. The written test lasts one hour and includes three open questions, on the main topics of the course program. A further preliminary question relating to fied trips in the area are requested.
The final mark is expressed in thirtieths.
The teacher positively assesses the ability to organize knowledge in a reasoned way, rigor and argumentative originality. For the question relating to field trips she positively evaluates the capacity for critical reasoning. Quality of the exhibition and the use of adequate and specialized vocabulary are fundamental to successfully pass the exam. The possible lode rewards students who demonstrate particular ability to deepen the covered topics.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The concepts, principles and laws of basic ecology are taken up to evaluate the alterations of biogeochemical cycles and self-regulation systems of ecosystems connected to human activities. The aim is to provide diagnostic and restoration tools for threatened ecosystems within the framework of existing legislation and knowledge acquired in the ecological field. Both from the diagnostic and from a management point of view, the biological methodologies are studied in depth. The close link between management and the defense of the environment and the economic development for a sustainable development is highlighted
EXPECTED RESULTS
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1. Understand the main alterations that different human activities can cause on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
2. discuss different case studies that exemplify the different forms of current pollution such as eutrophication, acidification, contamination of soil and water bodies by micropollutants in anthropized and remote areas.
3. apply the study methods of the biotic and abiotic components of the various environmental compartments,
4. include prevention criteria and regulatory tools for better management and recovery of the environment.

Introduction (8 hours)
• quality and quantity of resources at global and regional level

Water ecosystems (16 hours)
• trophic loads, cultural eutrophication for phosphates, the problem of toxic algae
• recovery of aquatic environments (liming, biomanipulation)
• hydro-transmitted pathogens
• remote environments and acid rain, origin and effects on ecosystems
• loads of degradable organic substance: BOD, COD
• biological water purification
• presence of micropollutants in aquatic environments
• management and legislative aspects of water protection

Soil ecosystem (16 hours)
• soil and pedofauna characteristics
• land use in agriculture (intensive and conservative agriculture)
•urbanization
• industrial settlements and abandoned industrial areas
• soil contamination
• management and legislative aspects of soil protection

Introduction (8 hours)
• quality and quantity of resources at global and regional level

Water ecosystems (16 hours)
• trophic loads, cultural eutrophication for phosphates, the problem of toxic algae
• recovery of aquatic environments (liming, biomanipulation)
• hydro-transmitted pathogens
• remote environments and acid rain, origin and effects on ecosystems
• loads of degradable organic substance: BOD, COD
• biological water purification
• presence of micropollutants in aquatic environments
• management and legislative aspects of water protection

Soil ecosystem (16 hours)
• soil and pedofauna characteristics
• land use in agriculture (intensive and conservative agriculture)
•urbanization
• industrial settlements and abandoned industrial areas
• soil contamination
• management and legislative aspects of soil protection

•Ecologia applicata Cunningham, Cunningham, Saigo McGraw Hill
•Ecologia applicata Galassi et al., Citta’ Studi Ed.
•Ecologia applicata Roberto Bargagli Amon Ed
•Microinquinanti organici S. Galassi
•Guida alla conoscenza della biologia e dell’ecologia del suolo, Menta 2008, Perdisa Ed.
•Ecologia delle acque interne Bettinetti et al. CittàStudi Ed
•Course slides available on the e-learning platform in .pdf format at the middle and end of the course.
• Any material provided in class by the teacher
• Reading of books and viewing of videos concerning the problems dealt with the enviornment recommended by the teacher

The course includes lectures for a total of 40 hours and some mandatory field trips (16 hours) to allow the students to work directly in the field and implement some concepts discussed in class.
The lectures foresee the use by the teacher of slide power points to better illustrate the topics; the trips on the territory have the pourpose of actively involving students and confronting them with problems to be managed. The trips on the territory (usually 2 or 3) are mostly aimed at the lake environments of the Como and Varese area. The aim is to acquire through concrete experience a greater ability to analyze and manage environmental problems.
If the student is really unable to participate with proven reasons, alternative methods of study will be agreed with the teacher.

The teacher receives before or at the end of each lesson or in her study on any day of the week by e-mail appointment (roberta.bettinetti@uninsubria.it)

Professors